Recent White House Proposals on Cancer Research Would be Counterproductive

Earlier this year, the Biden Administration aimed to reignite the Cancer Moonshot through its proposed federal budget and an objective to reduce cancer mortality by 50% over the next 25 years. The White House proposes to increase public funding for cancer research and at the same time control the price of cancer treatments.

A University of Chicago study determined that if the increase in cancer research for the fiscal year 2023 was made permanent, it would amount to an annual increase of $1.9 billion over current overall public and private cancer R&D spending. In contrast, the investigators observed that the latest publicly proposed price controls reduce overall annual cancer R&D spending by about $18.1 billion.

Thus, the reduction in total R&D spending from proposed price controls is more than 9.4 times as large as the increase from the proposed budgetary expansion. The study concludes “that the overall effect of the Administration’s policies affecting cancer research is to greatly reduce, rather than raise, the large amount of development activity in cancer. This would ultimately raise, as opposed to lower, cancer mortality compared to the status quo and thus be counterproductive to the Cancer Moonshot objectives.”

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